Florida Fire rescue station underwater after Hurricane Ian makes landfall

A weatherman has sparked a debate after being accused of 'failing to save a stranded kitten' amid the devastating Hurricane Ian.

Dylan Federico for WINK News shared the footage filmed outside the news agency’s TV station in Fort Myers, writing: "Storm surge is rising rapidly outside WINK News.

"A kitten is on the bench trying to escape the water. The doors are locked but we’re trying to get the kitten inside."

The post has since been deleted, but that didn't stop Twitter users from jumping in with their polarised views.

One said: "Your next tweet better be a picture of you standing in waist deep water inside while holding the kitten up above your head as it curls up in a warm blanket lapping from a saucer of cream."

Another said: "What makes this so weird the water is barely half a foot like why didn't they just go out there and get the cat smh."

While a third urged: "Please don’t post videos that stress everyone out with worry like this and then delete it. Was it just for attention???"

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Dylan later followed up with a tweet on Wednesday (29 September), claiming the cat swam away.

He penned: "Right after the video was posted, we attempted to get to the cat but it swam in a different direction out of view. I waited to post an update in hopes we could grab it. Please take your companions with you when you evacuate."

The tweet sparked further outrage, along with people jumping to his defence.

CBS meteorologist Katie Nicolaou said: "Anyone here to bash Dylan can stop. Also, the type of door in the video is the kind that needs a key. Finding the key takes time. Any cat owner knows a cat can get spooked and run away in less than a second. Don’t berate him because the cat moved before they could get to it."

Indy100 reached out to WINK News for comment.

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